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NEWS STORIES

Teacher accused of selling pot got 'glowing recommendations' during hiring processSubmitted: 11/14/2013
Story By Lex Gray

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RHINELANDER - Police searched a Rhinelander High School teacher's house because they thought he had been stealing equipment from the school.

They say that's when they found 66 marijuana plants and a sophisticated grow operation. Since we reported that story last week, people have been asking how Joshua Juergens got hired in the first place.

"We got glowing recommendations," said superintendent Kelli Jacobi. "I don't know that those were all completely honest."

Superintendent Kelli Jacobi says the district did a background check on Juergens. That check turned up a record, as does a simple online search of Wisconsin's online court records.

In 2010, Juergens was convicted of disorderly conduct. In 1997, he was convicted of marijuana possession, both misdemeanors.

"We did know that there was a drug issue, a misdemeanor, I believe he was 19," Jacobi said. "We look at patterns in behavior. If something is a recurring thing in a background check, that definitely signals a problem."

But Jacobi says she can't factor certain convictions into the hiring process.

For now, Juergens is on unpaid leave from his teaching job. He'll stay in the Oneida County Jail unless he can come up with his $2,000 bail or get into a treatment facility.

He returns to court November 21.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Northwoods caregiver talks importance of Silver AlertSubmitted: 08/01/2014

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RHINELANDER - More than 16,000 people in northcentral Wisconsin live with some form of dementia. They're some of the 110,000 people living with a cognitive impairment in the state. About 60% of them will wander at some point.

A new tool could help their families find them.

The Silver Alert program became available in Wisconsin Friday.

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Rhinelander's Flory sees Washington wildfires firsthandSubmitted: 08/01/2014

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WASHINGTON - Hot, dry conditions still worry firefighters in Washington state fighting the Carlton Complex wildfire.

In July, the Northwoods sent a team of firefighters to the area to help fight it.

Now, Rhinelander's Suzanne Flory is in Washington near the fire site.

She's working with the U.S. Forest Service.

This is one of the pictures Flory sent us of her area.

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Successful pea harvest despite cool Spring temperaturesSubmitted: 08/01/2014

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ANTIGO - A slow and shaky start to the summer growing season didn't hurt some farmers in Langlade County. That's because cooler temperatures can actually help some crops like peas.

Some farmers just finished harvesting their peas this week.It's the first vegetable crop of the season and farmers at Sunnydale Farms believe it was a great harvest.

They think cooler temperatures helped some of their crops stay healthy.

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Clean Sweep event give people opportunity to get rid of hazardous chemicalsSubmitted: 08/01/2014

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ANTIGO - It can get tricky to get rid of some chemicals safely. That's why Langlade County conservationists want people to bring their chemical products to the Highway Department Shop on Saturday.

People can get rid of all pesticides, insecticides, and chemical products at the Hazardous Waste Clean Sweep. It's free for all households and farmers.

Conservationists think the event will help people who don't normally know what to do with the products.

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Minocqua Chamber names new directorSubmitted: 08/01/2014

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MINOCQUA - The Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce will welcome a new executive director later this month.

Krystal Westfahl will start at the chamber August 21st. She'll replace Kim Baltus who left to join the Howard Young Foundation.

Westfahl comes to the Northwoods from Appleton. That's where she has been in charge of fundraising for the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Wisconsin for the past seven years. Before that, she worked as director of the Sampson State Park World War II Military Museum in Upstate New York.

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UW Trout Lake Station holds open houseSubmitted: 08/01/2014

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BOULDER JUNCTION - UW Trout Lake leaders want people to get interested in science. They invited people to come out and see what it's like to be a researcher at the Trout Lake Station in Boulder Junction.

More than 230 people showed up to the open house. People got the chance to go on a boat ride, learn about sampling and learn more about invasive species.

"The open house is a wonderful forum for us to be able to invite the community in and let them know what we're doing," says UW Trout Lake Station Director Tim Kratz. "Have a discussion about the kinds of research that we're doing on lakes, to hear the concerns or questions that people might have and just to enjoy a beautiful day on Trout Lake."

They also had activities for the kids.

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Neighboring businesses hope to benefit from opening of Dunkin' DonutsSubmitted: 08/01/2014

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RHINELANDER - A Dunkin Donuts will open soon in Rhinelander. Plenty of people are excited for the new restaurant, but businesses nearby also hope to benefit from the new eatery.

Dunkin' Donuts plans to open next Tuesday on Lincoln Street across the street from Home Depot. Friday was a test day for the company.

The opening could mean more business for its neighbors.

The owner for Spotlight Studios plans to have more advertisement after it opens.

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